How to Baby Proof Your Fireplace
As a homeowner with children – especially babies – it’s important to make sure everything in the house is babyproofed. Your fireplace is no exception to this rule. If you’re a new homeowner, new parent, or even just want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your children, read on for our best advice on how to create the most babyproofed fireplace! You can have a beautiful fireplace and keep the area safe at the same time.
Regardless of if you have a traditional or electrical fireplace, similar precautions should be taken. Below are three of the most basic improvements that can make all the difference for your crawling or walking little ones.
Start with the hearth – it’s usually pretty rugged
Some of the most preventable injuries start with the hearth. They’re made of noncombustible materials, so oftentimes that means they’re made of brick or stone. These materials aren’t forgiving of falls or trips and could land your little one with scrapes, stitches, or maybe even a concussion if they fall hard enough. The simplest solution for this, would be to add some padding around the edges of the hearth.
If this doesn’t add enough protection, the next option may work out a little better for you.
Gas fireplace? Try baby gates
Since gas fireplaces are usually relatively flat and flush with the wall, they typically have glass doors. So, while the hearth may not be a concern, hot glass doors or metal hardware may be. A simple solution for this could be to install baby gates (which range in price points for any budget). Not only would this prevent falls too close to the fire, it can also ensure that no little hands land on those hot fireplace doors. And if you have a traditional fireplace and opt for this solution, it maintains some protection from the embers that may blow out.
Don’t forget to monitor CO2 levels
Now that the physical barriers are in place, it’s important not to overlook the potential for rising carbon monoxide levels in the house during fires. While most homes will have CO2 monitors built in, double check that your house has them, and if they don’t, make sure to purchase some carbon monoxide detectors. They sell plug in detectors for roughly $30 if your house lacks them currently.
CO2 poisoning is no joke, and kids are more susceptible to the effects given their tinier bodies. Some symptoms may include headaches, nausea, confusion, chest pain, and even loss of consciousness. Before you have your next fire, ensure your CO2 monitors are present, hooked up, and functional.
Do you have additional questions about your chimney or fireplace? Bethesda Chimney is here to help as your hometown provider of professional chimney cleaning, inspection, and soot removal for residential, commercial, and government buildings throughout Greater Washington DC, Montgomery County, MD, and Northeast Virginia.
Call 202-217-1767 (DC), 301-969-4444 (MD), or 703-935-4444 (VA) to schedule an appointment with a Certified Chimney Sweep® to schedule a chimney inspection. Or, contact us online to speak with a chimney professional about any questions you may have.